For anyone still thinking streaming is worthless, catalogs are semi-quietly being snapped up by all sorts of equity. No longer a one time purchase, if your song catches on, it keeps paying and paying, even if there are no ads associated with it.
In what seems to be an emerging fact, the long game is putting it out there to stream. Not playing live, but 9-to-5’ing it at your desk. Sat in front of the computer to get eyes and ears on it. Trade the glory of the stage for the glory of ‘likes’ and a lot of small but growing checks.
What if people, now off the road, put the effort into listens? This is happening, and I can tell you from my own experience, it works.
What a great, breezy book. Jeff Tweedy emphasizes the writing-of is the thing, not necessarily the One Song itself. Love of the process, which is its own reward, is more important than the goal.
How to Write One Song reads universally enough so that anyone can ape this do-your-first ethos for whatever it is that you want (but have yet to).
Before 2016, I’d written maybe 5 or 10 songs total, but I definitely (ridiculously) considered myself a songwriter, even though I would never have told anyone. But luck intervened, I randomly joined a song writing group, and now I’m in the 100’s. It took me over 45 years to start in earnest.
I rated my 35 written, but unreleased songs: 12 1’s, 17 2’s, and 6 3’s (ascending scale). It was a lot easier than I thought, and I showed no mercy to the recent, or in some cases, the not-so-recent me, with the only criteria being, “Is it good? If so, how much so?”
Decisions had to be made quickly, so it was this am that, in a nod to efficiency, I decided not to work on the 3’s. At all. Notice I did NOT say I dropped them. Still something there in a few. They are just–they each have issues that feel like a lot of work ahead. There is a point where that all gets to be way too much, and art gives way to dirge. That’s never good with songs.
Considering cash and time, the 17 2’s are destine for a mix tape/ b-side release. There is no point in having good songs in the vault.
Could the 2’s be 1’s? Sure. But the goal is releasing these songs. Some I personally like better than some of the 1’s, but that does not men they are better, which I am sure only makes 1/2 sense. Historically I’ve been a fan of demos and b-sides, and good thing since I end up with a lot of them
I’m saving the #1’s, the 12 for outside production help, with an eye to an album or a bunch of ‘pro’ singles. There is something about each that makes them 1’s, and I cannot say what it is. I’ve investigated this slightly, and may be unknowable. But there does not seem to be any sense in really knowing, just like there is no reason to know where a song comes from. It’s just not worth investigating. Keep it magical/ mystical.
Phase 2 of the system starts tonight with setting up for the am. More on that next.